Skippack History and the Freedom to Blog

The 2013 Revolutionary War Encampment at the Historic IndenHofen Farmstead will take place Saturday, September 28 (10 am to 5 pm,) and Sunday,September 29 (11 am to 4 pm). See history come alive at our Revolutionary War Encampment, a commemoration of General George Washington’s Encampment in Skippack Township. See soldiers from the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment set up camp, drill and fire their muskets, watch reenactments of everyday life during the Revolutionary War period and demonstrations of colonial cooking and trades, enjoy historic home and barn tours, and much more. The IndenHofen Farmstead is located at Route 73 & Evansburg Road.

Indenhofen Farmhouse, built around 1720, stands at the gateway to Skippack.

Indenhofen Farmhouse, built around 1720, stands at the gateway to Skippack.

Traveling Along Route 73: The Gateway to Skippack

Traveling from the east along Route 73, look to your left as you enter Skippack. You will see the Indenhofen farmhouse, a stone structure that dates back to the 1720s. Here I am outside, sitting with Benjamin Webb, the remarkable, independent-thinking former president of the Skippack Historical Society. Hello Ben.

Ben is still in a youthful phase in his journey through life, but he appreciates the wisdom of the past.

“Did you ever see something built 100 years ago and observe its quality?” Ben asks me. “I am amazed by human ingenuity, what people were able to accomplish within the limitations of their time.”

Rescuing the Allebach-Cholet Farm in Skippack

Benjamin Webb, Skippack Historical Society President

Ben Webb loves Skippack and its history.

When Skippack Township was deciding whether or not to preserve another historic property, the Allebach-Cholet Farm, Ben stepped up to the plate. He joined forces with Brad DeForest, another member of the Skippack Historical Society who serves on the Township Planning Commission. An aside: Brad also provides technical and marketing support to the blog you are reading right at this moment.

Ben and Brad saved the Allebach-Cholet farm, working together to hammer out an agreement between the township and the Skippack Historical Society. Ben now rents this historic farmhouse from the society and lives there with his wife Jess, devoting time and energy to restoring the farmhouse and overseeing the work he cannot perform himself.

The Continental Army in Skippack

Sitting at a picnic bench outside the Indenhofen farmhouse, Ben describes to me the movements of the Continental Army in this area during the Revolutionary War. I feel like I am attending a college lecture in an open field, without receiving a bill for tuition.

Living outdoors, the soldiers marched to Germantown, Skippack, Towamencin, Whitpain, Gulph Mills, and Valley Forge. Listening to Ben, it feels almost shameful that I hop in my car and drive to these neighborhoods without giving a second thought to their historic significance. It was in Pennsylvania that the Continental Army transformed from a bunch of farmers and rabble-rousers to a disciplined fighting force.

My house in Skippack is across the street from the Indenhofen Farm. On the very property where I sleep every night, long ago encamped the men of the Continental Army. Because of their sacrifice and hardship, my grandfather, along with millions of other desperate people from all over the world, was able to come to America, find hope and start a new life. Because of their sacrifice and hardship, I practice my faith without fear. Because of the their sacrifice and hardship, dear reader, I am free to write in this blog whatever I want.

 

Ben Webb standing next to picture of George Washington

Two presidents: Ben of the Skippack Historical Society and George, first of the nation. I got Ben to smile, but not George.

 

Ben Webb standing with tractor in old-looking photo

Ben Webb reenacts Skippack’s agricultural history: Our sophisticated village started out as a farming town.